<div class="Article" style="float: left;"> <table> <tr style="vertical-align: bottom;"> <td> <h3><a href="/go=news.detail&gid=457254" target="_blank"> Most successful American BJJ black belt ever </a></h3> </td> </tr> </table> <a href="/go=news.detail&gid=457254" ><img class="photo" src="http://img.mixedmartialarts.com/method=get&rs=100&q=75&x=70&y=4&w=700&h=372&ro=0&s=026rafaellovatojrvsandregalvaogallerypost.jpg" /></a> <div style="clear: both; line-height: 1px;height: 1px;"> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://twitter.com/bjjheroes" target="_blank">Andre Borges</a>, the man behind BJJ Heroes, broke down America's most successful BJJ black belt of all time for <a href="https://twitter.com/flograppling" target="_blank">FloGrappling</a>, considering the top candidates.</p>
#1 Rafael Lovato, Jr.
Regardless of nationality, the black belt is one of the most accomplished athletes ever in IBJJF World Championships history with eight medals (one gold, one silver, six bronze). Lovato, Jr. also conquered two Pan-American titles at black belt (one at blue), two silver and five bronze.
If these 17 medals from two of the planet’s toughest grappling tournaments didn’t win your vote, Lovato, Jr. was also the first "gringo" to win a Brazilian national title in the adult black belt division back in 2007—a performance he surpassed in 2013 by collecting the openweight title at the prestigious event.
Although the contest for "Best in the U.S." is a tight one, it's definitely in favor of Rafael Lovato, Jr. when comparing careers in the gi. And with no other active American black belts even close to holding as many medals as him, it certainly looks as though he will remain in that position for a while.
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